The captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia yesterday boarded the wreck of the ship for the first time since it grounded off the Italian island of Giglio two years ago, causing the loss of 32 lives.
The vessel, which was “righted” during a high profile salvage operation last year, is now propped up by underwater platforms with its removal expected to take place in June.
Francesco Schettino returned to the Concordia accompanied by a court-appointed team of experts who are investigating the tragedy that took place on January 13 2012.
Frustrated by the media scrum that surrounded the visit, Schettino reportedly complained of harassment.
"I've given my technical contribution as captain, I've given precise details that will help the final investigation," Reuters reported him as saying, as he declined to answer further questions.
Locals are said to be keen for the wreckage to be removed. Its lingering presence is also of concern to the cruise industry. CLIA Australasia chairman and Royal Caribbean regional vice president Asia Pacific Gavin Smith recently described the Concordia as a “simmering issue” perpetuated by the ship’s ongoing presence in the waters off Giglio.